Embrace The Selfie

Dog Selfie

The selfie has taken the world by storm. Through the amazing invention of a front facing camera on all phones, it’s become so much easier than having to do that weird reach around, bent-wrist, guess, aim, capture thing. Instagram is overflowing with ECU’s of peoples faces, and Snapchat has given rise to embracing the “ugly selfie” – it is now so much easier to send your derpy face to your best friend. Some people argue that it’s all allowing for a rise in narcissism, and that it’s a bad thing for people to want to capture how they look and share it amongst their friends. Vanity is not that much of a bad thing, and selfies should be encouraged, not sneered at!

Everyone takes selfies, even my mum – she is a Selfie Queen (she went to a dinner & dance and took selfies with the performer WHILE HE WAS PERFORMING!) and last year the word ‘selfie’ was added to the dictionary – much to the dismay of many people, who think that the word isn’t as classy as the rest of the dictionary. Yes, that’s right, selfie is definitely not the same high-calibre word as the Oxford Dictionary’s other recent additions: ‘grrrl’ and ‘screenager’ – neither of which is used on a daily basis. The entire English language is made up of a mesh of other languages anyway, so I really don’t know why this evolution in language is now being ridiculed, just because the words aren’t conventional, and made their debut online. I personally think it’s great that it’s been added! In later years, we’ll be able to look back through a dictionary, and laugh at seeing definitions of ‘selfie’ and ‘twerk’ and explain to our (probably) confused kids exactly what was going on when we were growing up, and probably try and dig out a video of Miley Cyrus. Twerk, twerk, twerk Miley, Miley, twerk!
Everyone knows what a selfie is, and everyone does it! I do it all the time! I’m not that proud of it (only because I am the derpiest derp that ever did derp) but I’m also not ashamed to admit it. However, dear old Mama Rihal, buying me a t-shirt with the dictionary definition of ‘Selfie’ on it is really NOT what I want or need in my life.

The main problem some people have with selfies is that they believe it’s narcissistic; like it’s a crime to love yourself! Okay I’ll be the first to admit that there are people who go overboard with the whole “loving ones self” thing, and are selfish and strangely obsessed with themselves. I can’t even wrap my head around that notion because I cannot even begin to imagine what loving yourself that much must feel like. How would you even start? I’m actually a bit lost in that idea. But yes, those that are selfish and self-centred, who’s idea of a perfect date is talking about them the entire time need to be taken down a peg or two. Or four or five, depending on the person. If they think they’re a princess, you feel free to just subtly bring them back down to reality. As great as it is to love yourself, you really should save some love for other people, too…

I think it’s totally wrong for people to react this negatively to a few selfies. In this day and age, where self esteem issues and depression are higher than ever, a little bit of self-love can go a long way. Last year it was announced that almost 20% of adults suffer from a form of depression or anxiety. It has also been said that more and more young children are being diagnosed with depression, with up to 3 children in every class suffering. These figures are pretty terrifying, and with the stigma attached to mental health and society acting as if depression is taboo, this won’t be helped at all.

I’ve written about how teenagers on social media pages seem to think that having a mental health disorder is just another quirky thing to add to their list of “issues” so they can be seen to be part of this sub-culture that not much is known about, and how that is total bullshit. If your mental health isn’t doing you any favours and instead makes you feel like the whole world is crashing down on you, then you’ll know how frustrating it is to see mentally healthy people make jokes or pretend there’s something fundamentally wrong with them. There are people out there who genuinely despise the way they are and the way they look, so instead of pretending you’re suffering, how about you be the bigger person and raise awareness to be able to get more help for those who need it? The NHS have gone through massive cutbacks for treating mental health, meaning more people are being left to get worse instead of getting the help they desperately need. Why don’t these kids rally against that instead of pretending they’re simply helpless? Why aren’t more adults protesting against these cutbacks even when they know it’s completely fucking wrong? And why, after all this shit, are people dumping on selfies?

A selfie is a little memory for you, to share with other people. Your memory can and will fade over time, but as long as you have your pictures then you can literally see how you felt during that time. A very prestigious award ceremony even included a selfie! The famous ‘Oscar Selfie’ featured Bradley Cooper, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Ellen DeGeneres, and Brad Pitt, to name a few.
Drunken selfies are brilliant as they’re messy, quickly taken, and capture the moment and atmosphere so unbelievably well. You can take selfies quickly and don’t have to wait around for someone to take it, and you can take a quick snap with a random stranger and it’s all over after like 15 seconds. How amazing, right? Sharing it to Instagram will allow you to look back after and have all the memories fly back at you! Snapchat is brilliant for this, too! Sharing yourself pulling a silly face with something you’ve just seen is a great way to include your friends in on your fun when they’re not with you.

Selfies are important. It just goes to show and in the midst of all this bullshit that people go through, there’s still a ray of light and some hope that there’s still a bit of self-love left. Even though some of the time there’s thirsty people begging a like on Instagram by hashtagging everything from their hair colour to their eye colour to whatever is in their background, it’s still a good thing that they believe they look good enough to share it with everyone! It’s actually really cute!

You shouldn’t hate the selfie. You should love the selfie. Embrace the selfie. Selfie is love. Selfie is life.

Oscar Selfie
The famous Oscar Selfie, featuring me. Sorry, Brad.
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